Submitted: 02-10-2009 by se7enty
I received the Calypso as a Christmas present in 2008. My rating of a 9 has more to do with the delivery & damage problem, but LL Bean quickly offered an exchange, return, or 15% back (to be considered a 2nd). Their was an obviously repaired area about 5"x3" on the front deck. It has been a pretty deep gouge or something. It was repaired relatively decent and doesn't affect the ride or structure as far as we can tell, so we took the 15% back.
The boat is 38lbs and 24" wide and a perfect fit for me at 5'5", 26 years old, and 135lbs. I can carry it decent distances easily and I can lift it above my head. The proportions and lines on the boat are nice and itís a very "pretty" boat. My fiance is jealous.
I got the deluxe package with paddle and cockpit cover. DEFINITELY worth the extra $50. The paddle is a $40 paddle and the quality is equivalent to a $50-80 paddle at your local kayak shop. The cover is made by Harmony and fits perfectly, although a little too tight at first. The hatch cover is difficult but gets easier in the sun.
Tracking: almost perfectly straight. I can paddle as fast as I can and the nose barely moves more than an inch or so left or right. The keel in the rear keeps it straight but makes turning a little more difficult than in my fianceís Dagger Blackwater 12.0. You can still turn around within an extra 2-3' of the boat.
Stability: this is not the most stable boat. I am just moving from canoeing to kayaking but grew up on the water and I think I have great "sea legs". I haven't turned it over, but almost did a couple of times. It's definitely a light touring boat instead of recreational in that it doesn't have that extra flat area that keeps you from rolling a little bit. I plan on rolling it on purpose when it warms up some. If you are a beginner or the least bit uncomfortable/unstable on the water, I would consider something else.
Seating: The Zone seat is great. Itís super adjustable, easy to adjust on the go, and the back part moves up and down. Itís a very comfortable seat even with the minimal padding (actual ergonomic fit versus just squishy, kind of like Toyota versus Ford seats). It would be nice to have some thigh supports for long trips.
Leaks: so far so good. The drains/gutters move the water away from the cockpit and hatch very well. I havenít noticed any leaking screws and the hatch seals well.
Summary: This is a great boat for women or experienced teens. This plus LL Beanís amazing customer service and unrestricted return policy make this a perfect fit for me knowing that if anything goes wrong I can just send it back, no questions asked. You donít get that with any other kayak dealer as far as I know.
A++++ would buy again